Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
City Cracks Down on Gun Show Sales
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
City investigators found it all too easy to buy guns illegally at out-of-state gun shows, in the city's latest sting operation focusing on illegal gun sales. A four-month probe of 7 gun shows--in Ohio, Tennessee, and Nevada--found many private dealers were willing to make illegal sales to undercovers posing as buyers, even when they made it clear they wouldn't pass a background check.
Now expect a full-court press by the city and its gun control allies against Congress, and the Obama administration. Mayor Bloomberg says he's already started talking to Attorney General Eric Holder about the need to close the gun show loophole, as it's called.
City criminal justice coordinator John Feinblatt: 'We hope this investigation will be a powerful wake up call to those who have resisted closing the gun show loophole, and to anyone who still claims that private gun sales without background checks aren't a real risk.'
The NRA has fiercely resisted more gun show regulations, saying they would create excessive bureaucracy.
Also today, four men have been charged with operating an illegal gun ring that channeled weapons and ammunition from Virginia to New York City, the result of a 14-month investigation.
According to police commissioner Ray Kelly, the going rate for guns on the street, reflects the dwindling supply:
They commanded, about on the average, a thousand each on the street. In the case of the 9 milli Hi-Point, that's six times more its suggested retail price of $155.
The arrests were the result of a 14 month investigation.
An NYPD spokesman says those same weapons would've sold for just two to three times the retail price, a few years ago. Officials say the city's undercover gun stings, as well as litigation against out-of-state gun dealers, have helped reduce the supply of illegal guns.
The city also unveiled this video, which documents their 4-month undercover investigation of illegal gun sales.
For more information visit the city's extensive Gun Show: Undercover Web site for more videos and information on the illegal gun sales.